Sunday, November 08, 2009

For the Fun of It

To her benefit and in respect to her proper stature, Beer is finally being taken more seriously now than she was just a few decades ago. Due to a variety of interweaving factors, Beer is eagerly shedding the baggage of greedy marketing, empty gimmicks, and homogenized blandness. Beer is rediscovering her roots and heralding in a new future where she commands a place at the dinner table as much as a glass of wine.

Arguably, all varieties of alcoholic beverages can accompany a meal, but it is wine that people think of when considering a gourmand meal with an accompanying drink. To its credit, wine has done a far better and more consistent job of promoting its positive image through sophistication, health benefits, covetousness; all while maintaining a connection with the average consumer. Beer cannot say the same, though she has always been worthy. Tis we, the brewers, marketers, and consumers who, for a while, did her injustice.

But the past is just that, the past; a window through which to ponder our fortune and folly while holding fast the present in consideration of the future.

Beer is an ingrained facet of human history, present, and future. She has evolved from a crude communal porridge to a very real oasis of seemingly infinite styles, non-styles, flavors, aromas, strengths, and so on... Beer is the drink of humankind. Never before has she encapsulated, proudly so, the rich diversity of people and cultures while encouraging universal camaraderie.

But how? Wine and many storied spirits enjoy vaunted accolades and local pride, but few can boast a genuine spirit of discovery and camaraderie beyond borders while still honoring tradition such as beer can. Beer is adventure, a trusted friend, a curious venture, a welcome stranger, ingenuity and creativity, history and tradition, diversity celebrated and quality coveted. Beer is you, me, the neighbor down the street, or a friend on the other side of the world. Finally, ultimately, and maybe most fundamentally, beer is fun.

Not to rankle the oenophiles out there, but wine is just not fun. In fact, it is rather a bore. Sure wine has its merits, but severely limited they are in comparison to beer's limitless bounty of virtues, creativity, craftsmanship, and appeal.

Beer will always be a passioned subject of my heart, body, and soul, but for my benefit and hers, I never want to lose that unadulterated thrill of celebrated and cherished fun. Life is quite often a hard, tiresome, and brutish duty through which we trudge day-in and day-out. Sure, work and effort has its rewards, but Death is rightly waiting just around the corner as much as we would love to ignore this yin-yang fact of Living: inevitable mortality.

And so hundreds of thousands of years ago we were blessed with "godisgoode" and suddenly life wasn't so grim. Sure, it was rough, tough, and downright cruel sometimes, but there was beer and when supping on her beauteous gift to you and me, life was worth living. Heck, life was sometimes even fun, and should you share a few with friends, family, and community, life turned into a jolly good show.

And so here I am now, living a momentous time for beer and the joys of life. Life is beer, beer is life, and I'll be damned if both are just plain old-fashioned fun. To each vivifying pour at a bar with friends, at home, or at the dinner table, here's looking at you, Beer.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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